Common antibiotic may be the answer to many multidrug-resistant bacterial infections The common antibiotic azithromycin kills many multidrug-resistant bacteria very effectively — when tested under conditions that closely resemble the human body and its natural antimicrobial factors.
Researchers examine infectious bacterium's natural defenses Antibiotics fight bacteria by targeting enzymes essential to the bacterium's survival, like those involved in rebuilding the bacterium's cellular wall. With many deadly bacteria able to resist antibiotics, scientists must work to design new compounds that target important functions in the bacteria to stop them from multiplying. As a spinoff from their research aimed at fighting a specific parasite, researchers may have found a way around an infectious bacterium’s natural defenses.
Re-energizing antibiotics in the war against infections In principle, antibiotics suppress infections either by killing the bacteria, which is called a bactericidal effect or by merely inhibiting their growth, by what is called a bacteriostatic effect. After the treatment has been stopped, growth-inhibited bacteria, however, can re-emerge from their dormancy to start multiplying again with latent infections relapsing back into full-blown attacks.
Antibiotic resistance, and multidrug resistance, is a major public health threat. A new study finds conditions where restricting certain antibiotics may increase the frequency of multiple drug resistance.